Wix is one of the most popular ways of setting up a website quickly and conveniently. It appeals mainly to small businesses and individuals who don’t want to spend too much time building a website. Irrespective of your reasons for migrating to WordPress, it can open up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of themes, plugins, and overall customizability. But Wix doesn’t have any official channels for migration, so you will need to put in a considerable amount of effort.
Let’s get down to it.
Before you Migrate
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to migrate your theme from Wix because it has its own theme engine. Wix themes are not available for other CMSs. Here are a few things that you should take care of before the migration.
Make a Checklist
Make a list of all the pages, posts, and essential functions that you wish to migrate to your new website. This will make your life much easier.
The first step in the process of setting up your new WordPress website is to purchase hosting. You’ll need to do this because Wix websites come with their own hosting. There are many options like Shared web hosting, Managed WordPress hosting, and VPS plans. I recommend you look at a Managed WordPress hosting plan as it would offer you the most convenience. They come with pre-installed WordPress and automatic security updates.
Install a Temporary Domain or Sub-domain
Now that you have a hosting plan, you need to set up a temporary domain or sub-domain for your new WordPress website. It will be required for some of the migration options that we’ll be discussing in the next section.
Set up Your New WordPress Website
If you selected a Managed WordPress hosting plan, then this section isn’t really a big deal. Your hosting will have WordPress installed, so all you need to do is set up a theme.
Like I mentioned earlier, you won’t be able to migrate your theme from Wix, but you’ll most probably be able to select a similar or even better-looking theme out of the many thousands of themes in the WordPress theme directory.
Don’t forget to backup your Wix site for extra safety.
Now that we’ve got all the prerequisites out of the way, let’s get down to the migration. I’ll be talking about three different methods with different levels of difficulty. The one that suits you will depend on the complexity of your website.
This is the most time-consuming of the three methods I’ll be discussing. It involves manually migrating your Wix website page-by-page and post-by-post. While being the most cumbersome method, this is the most conservative way of ensuring that every bit of content is migrated to your new WordPress website. So if your website doesn’t have too many pages, I recommend you take this route.
Migrating Posts via RSS Feed
The RSS feed is one of the few ways to migrate most of your Wix website to WordPress. To get started, you’ll need to download it. Start by adding /feed.xml or /blog-feed.xml to the end of your website address. If you have a custom domain setup, this will be the address you need to visit:
If you use the Wix subdomain, then it will be something similar to:
This will take you to the RSS feed page of your website. Now we need to download the data so that it can be imported to the WordPress website.
Right-click anywhere on the feed.xml page and click “Save As.” The page will be downloaded to your computer as an XML file. Now go to your new WordPress website and install the RSS Importer plugin.
Once it is installed, click the “Run Importer” link to proceed.
Now select the feed.xml that was downloaded earlier and click “Upload file and import.” The duration for the import will depend on how many posts you have on your Wix website.
Three things to keep in mind at this point:
- The images on your posts will not be imported, so you’ll need to do that manually. Alternatively, you can use the Auto Upload Images plugin. Edit and save each post to automatically import its images or perform a bulk edit by selecting all your posts and the plugin will do the rest.
- If all your posts have not been imported, you will need to manually remove the imported ones from the feed.xml file and repeat these steps.
- The pages of your Wix website will not be imported through this method, so you’ll need to do that manually.
Automated migration via CMS2CMS
CMS2CMS is one of the only 3rd-party tools capable of migrating websites to and from many CMSs. Wix is no exception, CMS2CMS has you covered. While it is not free, this may be the most feasible option if your website has many pages and posts.
You will also be able to perform this migration through CMS2CMS’s WordPress plugin, but it is temporarily taken off the WordPress plugin directory.
The best way to use CMS2CMS is to try their free migration trial which migrates up to 10 web pages. Once this is done, you can make sure that all your data has been imported successfully before going ahead with the full migration.
The migration process will require you to specify whether it should:
- Find a similar theme
- Import images
- Redirect URLs
- Make URLs SEO-friendly
- Override data on the WordPress website
When running the full migration, you will have the option to select a paid plan with dedicated support. CMS2CMS’s pricing calculator provides you an estimate based on the number of pages on your website.
You can also completely outsource the migration to CMS2CMS. Pricing plans begin at $299 for up to 1000 pages. So this outsourcing option only makes sense for very large websites.
Irrespective of which route you took, you’re done with the actual migration now and it’s just a matter of finalizing your new WordPress website.
Essential WordPress Plugins
In addition to the plethora of features offered by WordPress, you can do a lot more using the thousands of WordPress plugins that are available for many different purposes. There are some important things that I can definitely recommend.
- Security plugins – these can help with login security, malware, and brute-force attacks. You can learn more about making your website more secure on our other article.
- SEO plugins – these will give you recommendations about the SEO performance of your website as well as help you to create and maintain robust sitemaps and robot.txt files.
- Backup plugins – it’s important to have regular backups of your website if it changes constantly.
- Social media plugins – this will help you to have a good presence on social media.
Setup Google Analytics for your website to track the traffic to your website and monitor the behavior of your visitors.
Make sure to implement any additional functionality that you had on your Wix website. These can be contact forms or subscription forms. Most of these can be easily achieved through WordPress’s wide range of plugins.
Test Your New Website
You’re in the home stretch now. Almost everything that you may need for your website has been done. It’s just a matter of ensuring that everything is in order before you make your new website live.
That checklist that you made at the beginning will come in handy right about now.
Migrate Your Domain
The final step is to migrate your domain. If you purchased your domain through Wix, then follow these steps to migrate it away:
- Go to the My Domains link.
- Select the relevant domain and click the Advanced tab.
- Click Transfer away from Wix.
- Click Send Code.
- Check your email and provide the received code to your new web host to prove your ownership of the domain.
If you had purchased your domain elsewhere, then follow the steps provided by that host to transfer domains.
These methods of migrating your Wix website to WordPress will work for almost all websites. The only exceptions may those that are heavily customized, but given the restrictions enforced by Wix, these can’t be much.
One of the most important aspects of your WordPress website is the hosting provider and plan you select. It can not only affect your website’s performance but also your experience in the long run. Try our Hosting Finder tool to ensure that you don’t miss the best deals.